Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

h1

ISIS forbids interest-based banking in Libya

September 17, 2015

Islamic State operatives in Sirte, Libya, have ordered banks there to close because they profit from charging interest.  ISIS told the banks that they “must change to Islamic banking” before they can reopen.  If you know somebody who still doubts the connections between sharia-compliant banking and terrorism, please forward them this article from the Libya Herald (h/t @moscow_ghost):

IS closes banks in Sirte; orders them to change to Sharia banking

By Libya Herald reporter.

Tripoli, 13 September 2015:

A source in Sirte has told the Libya Herald that the Islamic State (IS) forces in the town had not taken over and looted the Central Bank, as widely reported earlier.

What happened, according to the source, was that on Thursday, IS went to all banks in the town and closed them. They ordered all staff to turn up to the main mosque on Friday after evening prayer to repent for having being involved in dealing with interest (usury or riba) and ask for forgiveness.  Most went.

The banks must change to Islamic banking, IS has demanded. When they have made the change, they can re-open, the source said…

h1

Report: Clinton OK’d gunrunning through Qatar

July 6, 2015

A former superior court judge says that Hillary Clinton approved an arms deal to send weapons to rebels in Libya and Syria through Qatari middlemen when she was secretary of state.  Those weapons often ended up in the hands of Islamic radicals and even groups designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations according to documents reviewed by the judge.  From Fox News Insider on Jul. 2 (with a hat tip to Zadok Forgeron):

Judge Andrew Napolitano revealed this morning what he has concluded after reviewing hundreds of pages of documents and emails related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The judge wrote today in a Washington Times column that the documents “persuaded me beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty that Mrs. Clinton provided material assistance to terrorists and lied to Congress.”

Napolitano said he looked at transcripts from a Fox News interview with an American arms dealer named Marc Turi, in addition to reviewing emails between Turi, State Department officials and lawmakers.

On Fox Business Network this morning, the judge told Charles Payne that he believes a “conspiracy existed” among President Obama, Mrs. Clinton, congressional leaders and other officials to “get arms shipped to rebels in Syria and Libya.”

Napolitano said some of the rebel groups were on the United States’ list of terrorist organizations, so providing “material assistance” to them would be a felony.

Napolitano said arms dealers received permission lawfully from the State Department to sell the weapons to the government of Qatar.

“Qatar then sold, delivered, bartered or gave these arms to the terrorist organizations with the consent of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” he said, adding that it is “crystal clear” from the documents that U.S. officials knew where the weapons would end up…

h1

Clandestine money news: recommended reading

October 9, 2014
  • Qatar is arming the revolutionary Islamist militia known as “Libya Dawn”… more>>
  • The international watchdog Financial Action Task Force finds that soccer and money laundering are a perfect match for each other… more>>
  • Arab Bank wasn’t the only financial institution funding Hamas.  Enter National Westminster Bank… more>>
  • How ISIS’s antiquities smuggling and the Islamic khums tax finance the blood-letting in Iraq and Syria… more>>
h1

Libyan arms issued to regional terrorists

April 21, 2014

Weapons are pouring into Libya from around the Mediterranean, for both domestic use among rival factions and for follow-on trafficking to neighboring African hotspots and to Syria, according to a recent UN report.

The unraveling of Libya indicates that the Obama strategy of “leading from behind” during the intervention was unwise, and included little if any plan for the long-term stabilization of Libya or for an orderly resolution to Libya’s political problems. Libya has turned into a more chaotic state that is destabilizing its neighbors than Iraq became under Bush.

The UN report includes evidence from 2013 that blackmarket merchants near the Libyan-Tunisian border are working with Al Qaeda: “Two main caches were discovered in urban areas in Medenine and Mnilah. According to the authorities, the materiel came from Libya in transfers financed by groups linked to Al-Qaida through commercial smugglers.”

Reason blog has helpful piece highlighting some of the other main points from the UN report:

UN Report: Security Situation in Libya ‘Considerably Deteriorated,’ Arms Exported Throughout Region

Ed Krayewski|Mar. 13, 2014

Arms largely in control of non-government groups in a deteriorating Libya are making their way by air, land, and sea to countries from Nigeria to Syria, according to a United Nations report by a panel of experts on the situation in Libya. That panel was tasked with reviewing the effectiveness of arms embargos, travel bans, and asset freezes implemented by various Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1973, which authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and was used to justify NATO intervention.

On the arms embargo, the panel complains of “limited resources with which to cover a two-way embargo that is breached on a regular basis and covers the entirety of Libya’s territory” and that the “geographical area covered by the Panel’s investigations expands every year and includes a large part of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.” One of the panel’s recommendations is for more experts to analyze the situations on the ground. According to the report, weapons from Libya have reached Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Egypt, and the Gaza Strip, almost a who’s who of deteriorating security situations in the wider region. The U.N. reports weapons are also trafficked via Turkey, Lebanon, and Qatar.

The panel is concerned, too, that some companies doing business with gun stores in Libya don’t even know about the U.N. embargo. Handguns, in particular, are in high demand, according to the report, which suggests members of security forces could be selling their handguns to civilians. Government agencies in Libya anyway rely on local armed groups for some public security, which the U.N. panel points to as an implication weapons are likely being shared.

The demand for guns among civilians shouldn’t be as a surprise. The U.N. panel describes a security situation that’s “considerably deteriorated” and reports continued significant increases in “carjacking, robbery, kidnappings, tribal disputes, political assassinations, armed attacks and clashes, explosions from improvised explosive devices and demonstrations.”

It’s likely not regular Libyans worried about their personal and family security that’s a primary contributing factor to the overall security situation in Libya. Instead, it’s what the U.N. panel identifies as a “complicated mix of Al-Qaida affiliated and inspired groups” that have set up across Libya in the chaos that followed the 2011 intervention. The panel describes a firefight between Special Forces from the Libyan government and Ansal al-Shariah in Benghazi in November that killed nine. A campaign of assassinations and suicide bombings has followed in the city. The U.N. report also relays a raid on a Libyan military base identified as “camp 27,” where the United States may have been training and supplying Libyan forces. The U.S. government responded to the panel’s questions that “some items that had been transferred to Libyan control were unaccounted for and presumed stolen”…

Thanks to Genug for the news tip.

h1

Benghazi culprits funded by Libyan subcontracts

September 11, 2013

Ansar al-Sharia, the terrorist group that played a leading role in the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, is profiting from security subcontracts awarded to it by the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, a larger militia that receives direct contracts from the Libyan defense ministry.

This disgrace resembles the ongoing public contract scandals in Afghanistan through which specific UN, U.S., and Afghan security operations have been subcontracted out to Taliban affiliated-fighters over the past several years.

The Weekly Standard reports:

… Ansar al Sharia is far from being on the run. The organization is expanding and is even tasked with providing security inside Benghazi.

On Sunday, Ansar al Sharia Libya posted images and a video of its armed members manning a checkpoint in Benghazi. Incredibly, according to previous reports, the group is providing security at the behest of the Libyan government…

The Weekly Standard cites a Daily Beast article from February which elaborates on the payments to Ansar al-Sharia:

… Since the consulate attack that led to the death of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, Ansar al-Sharia has kept a low profile but recently—and noticeably at celebrations to mark the second anniversary of the revolution earlier this month—the militia was back manning checkpoints and guarding hospitals and other public buildings. Government payments to Ansar al-Sharia militiamen also have been resumed and are made through other Benghazi brigades, including the 17th of February brigade, according to sources in the General National Congress, Libya’s new Parliament.

The sources say the chief of the defense staff, Yousef Mangoush, has been diverting operational funds from the fledgling armed forces to the militia. They worry the move is “playing with fire”…

As for the militia that serves as Ansar al-Sharia’s paymaster, the BBC says, “The Martyrs of 17 February Brigade are considered to be the biggest and best armed militia in eastern Libya. The brigade is financed by the Libyan defence ministry. The brigade consists of at least 12 battalions and possesses a large collection of light and heavy weapons in addition to training facilities.”

The Associated Press reported in March that “The state pays many militias, relying on them to serve as security forces since the police and military remain a shambles.”

More recently, the Global Post reports:

… Frederic Wehrey, the former US military attaché in Tripoli, called the [Libyan] army “a shell of an institution.“ Contracting with the revolutionaries did bring them somewhat under the authority of the state. But it was also a “Faustian bargain” that gave brigade commanders and their political patrons leverage over the government.

This quickly gave rise to the growth of parallel forces that now overshadow the regular army and police…

h1

Libya mess shows need for energy independence

September 5, 2013

The apparent crumbling of the Libyan state and related, ongoing spike in global oil prices illustrate the importance of ending Western dependence on Middle Eastern and North African oil.  From The Telegraph:

“We are currently witnessing the collapse of state in Libya, and the country is getting closer to local wars for oil revenues,” said the Swiss-based group Petromatrix.

The country’s oil ministry said production has slumped to an average of 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) in August, down by more than four-fifths from its peak after the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime two years ago.

“Militia groups are behaving like terrorists, using control over oil as political leverage to extract concessions,” said Dr Elizabeth Stephens, head of political risk at insurers Jardine Lloyd Thompson. Port closures and strikes have compounded the damage but the deeper story is the disintegration of political authority.

Libya is the most extreme example of political mayhem around the world disrupting output and causing a chronic shortfall in oil supply. Production has slumped in Iraq, Nigeria, Iran, Yemen and Syria itself, each for different reasons.

This has cut daily global supply by 1.1m over the past year to 92m, explaining why Brent crude prices have remained stubbornly high despite the slump in Europe and China’s slowdown. To compound the problem, Libya’s oil is some of the highest quality produced in the Middle East and the kind preferred by European refiners. Jitters over Syria have already pushed Brent to $115, near levels that typically erode confidence and inflict serious economic damage…

Is it logical to remain reliant on a region fraught with despotism, Islamist rebellions, intra-Islamic sectarianism, corruption, and utter disrespect for the rights of religious minorities?

No.  The good news is that the U.S., Canada, and Europe do not have to entangle themselves in the Middle East if they are willing to bring the environmentally reactionary fringe under heel.  There is plenty of oil and gas beneath our very feet if we are willing to extract it.  And we will do so in a more environmentally responsible fashion than Arab oilmen anyway.

As part of the president’s proposal to punish Assad for gassing children to death, Obama should simultaneously announce his support for the Keystone XL pipeline, increased offshore and federal land drilling, and ease permit issuance for hydraulic fracturing.  What good is a solitary, short-term military campaign without a longer term strategy for peace?

h1

The colossal folly of arming the rebels

August 9, 2013

The Obama administration may have directed the CIA to ship weapons covertly from Libya to Syrian rebels, creating a tempting target for the terrorists who attacked the U.S. mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, according to a growing chorus of reports:

World Net Daily has more about the story:

CNN is reporting lawmakers are speculating on the possibility U.S. agencies operating in the Benghazi compound attacked Sept. 11, 2012, were secretly helping to transfer weapons from Libya, via Turkey, to the rebels in Syria.

That possibility was first reported by WND two weeks after the Benghazi attack, when the news agency cited Egyptian security officials who said murdered U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens played a central role in arming and recruiting rebels to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In November 2012, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as an intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels, which included weapons shipments being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

The information may help determine what motivated the deadly attacks in Benghazi.

The State Department told CNN it was helping the new Libyan government destroy weapons deemed “damaged, aged or too unsafe retain” but denied it was transferring weapons to other countries.

The State Department, however, clarified it “can’t speak for any other agencies.”

The CIA would not comment to CNN on the weapons-transfer reports.

Meanwhile, clarification on the weapons transfers may have inadvertently come through recent statements by a Libyan weapons dealer from a group hired to provide security to the U.S. mission in Benghazi. The dealer told Reuters he has helped ship weapons from Benghazi to the rebels fighting in Syria.

The detailed account may provide more circumstantial evidence the U.S. Benghazi mission was secretly involved in procuring and shipping weapons to the Syrian opposition before the deadly attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

In an interview with Reuters published in June, Libyan warlord Abdul Basit Haroun declared he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria. Most of the weapons were sent to Turkey, where they were then smuggled into neighboring Syria, he said.

Haroun explained he sent a massive weapons shipment from the port in Benghazi in August 2012, days before the attack on the U.S. compound. The weapons were smuggled into Syria aboard a Libyan ship that landed in Turkey purportedly to deliver humanitarian aid…

Management of the failed gunrunning operation from Libya to Syria appears to have been since been transferred to Qatar.